In "Flowers for Algeron" by Daniel Keyes, what is ironic about this paragraph: "Algeron is changing. He is less co-operative; he refuses to run the maze any more; general motivation has decreased....

In "Flowers for Algeron" by Daniel Keyes, what is ironic about this paragraph: "Algeron is changing. He is less co-operative; he refuses to run the maze any more; general motivation has decreased. And he hasn't been eating. Everyone is upset about what this may mean."

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes, Algernon, the mouse, has been given an operation to make him smarter. He has learned to run mazes for food, and as he gets faster, the mazes become more difficult. At this point in the story, Algernon is becoming less cooperative and will not run the maze anymore. This has made the people concerned that there is something wrong. The reason this is ironic is because the fact that Algernon refuses to run the maze shows he IS smarter now. He is smart enough to know that he is being manipulated by these people to do something he does not really want to do. This can be applied to people as well. As a child matures and gains intelligence, he/she is more likely to question the adults in his/her life. "Why do I have to clean my room?" Simple questions become bigger questions as children become teenagers and rebel against parents and other adults. We see Charlie going through the exact same thing as he realizes people have manipulated him. It's a natural progression through which thinking, intelligent beings go.

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